It is easy to forget that there are still places like Hamlet, North Carolina . . . until something tragic happens to put them on our mind.” So the Washington Post informed its readers several days after a September 1991 fire in a chicken-processing plant in Hamlet killed twenty-five workers.
It is easy to forget . . . especially when no reporters are there to remind you. Consider the facts from Hamlet. The food-processing plant doors were locked to prevent workers from stealing chickens. (These workers were so poor that they had to be buried in donated clothing.) In its eleven years, the factory had never been investigated by the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). North Carolina, with more manufacturing jobs than any state in the nation, is less than 4.5 percent unionized....
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $29.95 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.